l o v of e r u o b a l A
PEOPLE | interview
A teen-aged Safa would often find her nose buried in the classics – the works of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and the likes. “Basically, books written by strong women writers,” the writer, now a mum of two, reflects. “And I’ve always loved reading romance.”
The self-confessed bookworm claims to have “mountains of books”. She says: “They are everywhere. On the shelves, in boxes, under the bed, next to it, in my car and even at my mother’s home. I do read on Kindle, but I love the feel of a book in my hand and the smell of ink on the paper.” Assistant marketing manager at a renowned financial institution by day, Safa moonlighted as an author to give the world Ruined, her first public work. The idea to write a book sparked from something, well, romantic itself. “I used to write short stories and love letters to my husband while he was working abroad. He was the one to suggest it, telling me I had the flair for detail and emotion. And with this, started my journey of writing Ruined.” Tragedy inspired the idea for the book’s main plot. “I started writing the novel from the middle of the story actually, seeing a fatal accident on the road. It got me thinking of how the incident had affected people around the victim, and how their lives had changed due to somebody’s actions.”
Safa Shamsan, the first ever Bahraini English romance novelist, chats with Behnaz Sanjana about embarking on the journey of pouring her emotions and experiences into words addressing love, loss and the dynamics of human relationships.
The fictional narrative is set in Townsend, Massachusetts, in the US, and revolves around the lives of four brothers, the protagonists being Emma and Cole. Safa’s own experiences have contributed to her writing. The story is shaped by her own emotions while her husband was away from her, her bond with her sisters and best friends, and her real-life observations of the forming and falling-out of relationships. The take-away from the book is that in relationships, communication is everything. Safa explains: “Sometimes in our interactions, subliminal messages are lost and we forget that there are different perspectives to every situation. With good communication and understanding the other person’s view, a lot of issues can be solved and a lot of ill feeling can be avoided. Especially in our age of digital communication!” Ruined, launching this month, is dedicated to her family, especially her mother. “It deals with the loss of loved ones and rising above the loss,” she says. As with every scribe worth their salt, Safa dealt with self-doubt. “I have loved every minute of writing this book, and would be typing away long into the night after the kids went to bed. I sometimes wondered whether the plot would be well-received or if my work was any good at all. But I continued on my path. Besides my husband’s encouragement, working with my PR agency, The Four Of Us, has helped immensely. They have lived and breathed the book with me; I cannot thank them enough. They have pushed me to do things that I wouldn’t normally do, I’m glad for their support and for enjoying this ride with me. The path of self-publishing has been full of learning and excitement.”
Vol.24 - Issue 2 - Your guide to a great way of life